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Relative HistoriesMediating History in Asian American Family Memoirs$
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Rocío G. Davis

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824834586

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824834586.001.0001

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Representing Asian Wars and Revolutions

Representing Asian Wars and Revolutions

Chapter:
(p.31) Chapter 3 Representing Asian Wars and Revolutions
Source:
Relative Histories
Author(s):

Rocío G. Davis

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824834586.003.0003

This chapter examines the narrative of Asian wars and revolutions in the twentieth century, which led to massive immigration to the United States and serves as the subtext of a significant number of Asian American family memoirs. It analyzes four auto/biographies that reflect on events of the mid-twentieth century that have become part of our general knowledge of world history, namely: the Cultural Revolution in China, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. These texts are Pang-Mei Natasha Chang's Bound Feet and Western Dress (1996), May-lee and Winberg Chai's The Girl from Purple Mountain (2001), K. Connie Kang's Home Was the Land of Morning Calm (1995), and Duong Van Mai Elliott's The Sacred Willow (1999). The chapter considers how these narratives address questions of ethnic identity, play a pivotal role in the construction of collective memory, and act as important forms of historical mediation by engaging processes of memory.

Keywords:   Asian wars, family memoirs, autobiography, China, Cultural Revolution, Korean War, Vietnam War, ethnic identity, collective memory, historical mediation

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